Vote for Doctor Who, Wisdom Welsh and No Martina Hingis, Sorry

I’m really tired. It’s one of those annoying weekends where I feel I should be working, because I went off to Bath for a day midweek. I was there to meet up with comic writer Mark Millar and Nick and Steve from SFX Magazine, for what in their case was a pint, and in mine was a series of soft drinks, because it’s Lent. (I’m doing precisely forty days without alcohol, unlike last year when I did Official Lent, giving myself time off for Phoenix Con in Dublin next weekend, because Caroline delivers her thesis that Friday and frankly we are going to need a pint, and since bloody when is the aim supposed to be to Beat Christ’s Record?)

They were good company as always, and I managed to get some work on the novel done in a coffee shop. So I thought I’d get back to my desk on Friday and thump a bit more out before the weekend. But no such luck. I just stared and stared at it and didn’t have the energy to do much to it, and I’m pretty sure some of it said ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. I’m editing what I’d previously written before I sett off into the last third of the book. And I must say, I’ve come to loathe the Paul Cornell of 2006. How did you put up with him? Him and his meandering flashbacks. Chapter seventeen, for instance, in which Nothing Happens. But one can’t just cut it, because a few little threads run nicely into the really quite good chapter eighteen. Sod it. I’ve always said there’s no such thing as talent, there’s just hard work. So unless I can focus a bit and actually work on the weekend (I’ve plotted out what chapter seventeen should be like) I’m not talented at the moment. I’m either going to force myself to work, or lie around watching my new Strangers box set, feeling frustrated and angry at myself.

There are a few fun things to mention. I’d like to offer, for readers of Wisdom issue three, what the speech balloons in Welsh said before I had them translated (assuming my Welsh speakers weren’t having me on). They follow Pete’s lengthy anti-Welsh diatribe. They were:

Dai: If I thought for one second you meant any of that –

Pete: You know I didn’t.

Pointing out which might calm down my inbox a bit as well. I’m working on getting an American version of the iMix soundtrack for the issue in place. I’ll let you know.

Rob Francis tells me of a site where you can hire a Tardis, of a sort, on emergency call out. I like the picture of a ‘Tardis engineer’:

I'd love to call them up and ask if they could come over last Wednesday. They probably have rules concerning breaking the spacetime continuum.

Those of you who subscribe to this blog’s RSS feed may have been surprised recently by my sudden apparent interest in Martina Hingis – related porn. I have complained to everyone there is to complain to, and I hope the problem’s been sorted. If you’re still getting such material, and let’s assume you don’t want it, please let me know. If you’ve come here in search of Hingisaria… sorry. If you are Martina Hingis, well done. About the tennis, I mean.

It was lovely to see Russell’s kind words about my Doctor Who novel and now TV episodes Human Nature in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine. He says that it was as if, when he first called me up about adapting the book for television, I knew what he was going to say… and I kind of did. If I remember correctly, he said ‘I’ve been thinking about this since we got the show back…’ and I said ‘Human Nature!’ I mostly mention this so I can luxuriate in being able to say the title now. It’s like walking around the house naked. And Matt Michael’s review of Circular Time in that same issue was also most welcome.

You can vote for Doctor Who online in the Bulldog awards, Televisual magazine’s annual gestures to the great and good. I might point out that my friends Diederick Santer (for Jane Eyre) and Ben Evans (for Fantabulosa!) are deserving of mention along the way, having also been nominated in different categories. And I delighted in being able to write in 'No Award' as an alternative in the ‘Best Reality TV’ section:

And that’s it for this weekend. Those noises from Oxfordshire are me gnashing my teeth. But let’s hope for some keyboard tapping also. Cheerio.

14 Response to "Vote for Doctor Who, Wisdom Welsh and No Martina Hingis, Sorry"

  • World of Walford Says:

    Thanks for the translation, Paul.

    Can I assume that the lines delivered as the guy's being dragged into the Police van were "Welsh 'til I die!" or similar?

    I'm sure I heard it once before, after a heated exchange of national opinions in a bar in Aberystwyth - which nobody thought to tell me was Welsh speaking only...

    Still. I survived...

    Cheers again ;-).

    Mark Roberts

  • Matthew Says:

    I figured you be having a ball with Steve Moff and the others? :)

  • jackooo Says:

    i read the review of Circular Time, sounds cool =D i was just wondering if there was any monsters in it?


    p.s. hurry up and get the novel in the shops, i need something to read! ;)

  • nexstarman Says:

    Looking forward to Human Nature now, I still have my copy :-) I see the BBC Website e-book is still up there as well.

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    It's 'Wales forever!' or something quite close to that. It's recognised as a battle cry. Well, Matthew, that is often the case, but not this week. I wonder to what you refer? Jack: a race of bird people, and that's about it. Hadn't thought about that before. And thanks. Good to hear, Next.

  • Luis Abbadie Says:

    "Welsh till I die" was my first guess, too. But I have another question: what did the fourth panel in the page that recounted the archetypal battle between man and dragon refer to? I thought maybe it meant to reflect a battle between the Welsh and somebody else, going back to its symbolic nature for their people, but the lack of a visible opponent for the soldiers confuses me.

    Thanx for the soundtrack, well worth, er, tracking. And, damn it, I was so slow at getting it - Maureen Raven - Jonathan Raven! OH DAMN!!!!

  • Chad Says:

    Wisdom - i looked at the sales data over at The Beat and the figures for Wisdom aren't good.

    I don't understand why - Well written, great art, funny - what gives? I really want to see this whole thing in trade form as well but i'm worried it wont happen. Any clues as to how to help this book out?

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Glad you got that, Luis, few people have. But if you find the cover to the last issue on the various places solicitations are available, you'll see you were right. That fourth panel is Rourke's Drift again, as depicted earlier. Shang-Chi has mystical fought, and been aware of, the dragon in all his appearances throughout history. I saw The Beat's sales report, and thought it a little unfair that they underlined what are seen as poor sales, because of the perception that this is an X-Men book. If we're compared to the other titles in the Max range, like Hellstorm, we've done better, if I remember rightly, than anything except The Punisher. And we're doing better than some criticially acclaimed mainstream titles like (the wonderful) Agents of Atlas, which nobody says has 'had poor sales'. It's all about context.

  • Simon Says:

    Paul, I wouldn't ask for, nor would I expect any details but in regard of "Human Nature" I'm assuming the TV version takes into account the fact that the 10th Doctor is already very human as opposed to the definitely not human 7th Doctor of the original novel?

  • A-M Says:

    I'm amused by the "Vote for Doctor Who" bit of the subject line, because my evil other half has apparently recently convinced a friend of ours that in the next series there is a special interactive episode where the viewing public can vote for who doesn't make it/gets left behind/whatever in the end and that all the characters in the episode including the Doctor are up for the vote! (I'm assuming there was alcohol present during the conversation, because it's not that convincing otherwise really! Haha!)

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Simon, that's you being rather self-contradictory there. AM: how did you know?! (Note: if this turns out to be true, Paul didn't know anything about it.)

  • Luis Abbadie Says:

    D-uh, of course... and here I was thinking "those soldiers look familiar, as if I'd seen them elsewhere!" LOL

    I checked the cover for #6 already -good to see I was right! How do you manage to pack so many things I like into six issues? I too would like a trade edition, hopefully with additional stuff. In the meantime, let's cry sequel!

    Indeed, sales look fine; I was worried because I have a history of getting all the comics I like cancelled from lack of sales, but it doesn't seem to be doing bad.

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    My whole aim was, in case I never got another comic, to pack in a lot of my favourite Marvel things! I'd love to get a sequel. I have plots and titles in my head for about another eighteen issues! Being cancelled isn't really a problem because this was always going to be a six issue mini, so don't worry!

  • Lee Harris Says:

    As a Cardiffian, born and bred, Issue 3 was my favourite so far, but I have to take exception to something:

    I can accept a government agent with mutant powers.
    I can accept an alliance with the fairy people through marriage of said ambassador
    I can accept the Welsh dragon turning into a common thug
    Hell, I can even accept the existence of the Cardiff underworld (*snigger*)

    but someone caught speaking Welsh?
    In Cardiff?
    Now that's unlikely...